St. Jude’s Church in Derby goes on the market for more than $1 million

DERBY — St. Jude’s Church has held its final service.

Henry Healy, a real estate agent at Coldwell Banker, said St. Jude was the decision to close the church because the Church of St. Mary the Immaculate Conception is a historically significant landmark.

“They just didn’t run two big churches, and the other church is a historic landmark. So the church we’re selling isn’t,” Healy said.

St. Jude was built in 1961 according to the listing. The church property includes two buildings, the church and a separate building with offices and a ceremonial hall.

The decision to close the church came after the Archdiocese of Hartford planned to close or merge other churches throughout the Naugatuck Valley, from Ansonia to Seymour. Although the 2017 plan merged the two churches, it did not include the closure of St. Jude.

But faced with further declines in attendance, the Rev. Christopher Tiano wrote in a letter to parishioners In October 2021, the municipality had no choice but to close it.

“We have seen two generations of Catholics whose faith practices are not as strong or as vibrant as their parents and grandparents. All of this has had an impact on our local church and community,” Tiano wrote.

The community currently includes about 1,000 families, according to Tiano.

Healy said the church has not been in regular use since Christmas but hoped the building could be repurposed for something that would benefit the wider community, such as a wedding venue. Since the property was listed and local media wrote about the sale, interest in the property has increased, he said.

The property also has a cell phone tower which was first installed in 2004 and is particularly attractive as an owner could earn extra money from it.

“There is a mobile phone mast on this property that is rented out on a long-term basis. So whoever owns this property has the potential to generate income immediately,” Healy said.

While the community called the closure a difficult decision, Hartford Archdiocese Director of Property and Fortunes Paul Connery said he hasn’t heard too much from community members on the matter.

“I’m sure people are very upset about this, I would imagine. But I haven’t spoken to many people about it,” Connery said.

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